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November 6, 2020

Heart Splitting

By Maryanna Gabriel


I keep trying to watch a show and twice I have had to stop. It is so exquisitely narrated and filmed that it makes me cry. I am trying to articulate why. Maybe it is because this world can be so beautiful and such a sensitive, delicate place, amid so much that is the opposite. What is being depicted takes my breath away. It isn't just the the fantastic and imaginative life forms that exist, a testament to the wonder of this glorious planet. 

The documentary I am talking about is called "My Octopus Teacher." These creatures are extremely intelligent, more intelligent than our domestic cats and dogs. They play. Play? Yes, they play. They use tools. They can open jars - from the inside. They have been know to turn off lights in their tank for their own amusement. They will leave their tank and enter another tank, steal the fish, and return to their tank undetected. They are able to go on shore to catch food. They disguise themselves to maneuver in ways that are surprisingly tactical, requiring planning and forethought. The scene I cannot get past is the octopus trusting the diver to the point where he is sitting on his hand. This is about relationship and the word is trust. It is heart splitting.

When I was in Spain, walking the Camino, pulpo, or Octopus, was offered on menus. I just couldn't order it. Now I know why.